Earlier this year Refuel & Go's Bradwell Service Station in Braintree was awarded the accolade of Symbol Retailer of the Year at Palmer & Harvey's Pro Retail gala dinner.
Set in the beautiful, rural landscape of Weare in Somerset, the long-established family business of GH Lunn distinguished itself in May by becoming the first forecourt to feature the relatively new, but fast-growing Simply Fresh symbol branding.
The 'Park & Shop' forecourt convenience brand, successfully developed and implemented by the Park Garage Group across more than 50 forecourts, is now available to operators through the UK as the company looks to further extend its involvement in petrol convenience retailing. Recognised by the industry as a 'Top 30' grocer and listed at number three in the 2012 Forecourt Trader 'Top 50 Indies', the £200m turnover family-run business is eager to share its success and buying-power discounts with other dealers.
You'd need a book to properly relate the life of the colourful character that is Peter Hockenhull, managing director of Leicestershire-based Top 50 Indie Hockenhull Garages. He has a great many stories to tell after 50 years in the fuel retailing business and that's before you get onto his forays into other business ventures in sports, country pubs and insurance; his farming, butcher's shop, ex-merchant navy, and ex-army background; as well as his love of animals, tennis, his wife, seven children and 11 grandchildren.
Attention quickly turns to the unlikely presence of a retro American ambulance parked next to the price pole sign on a visit to Hordle Garage near New Milton in Hampshire's New Forest.
A forecourt business waits for no one even if a late fuel delivery is threatening to hold the owner up for their daughter's wedding. That's what happened to Andrew and Diane Hindmarch, who run Hindmarch Garage in Stamford, Lincolnshire. It was undoubtedly one of the busiest weekends of their lives their daughter's big day, the Diamond Jubilee, and their last weekend as Total dealers.
It's been more than two decades since the Brobot Group built a site from scratch, but the Top 50 Indie's latest development on a greenfield site in Corby's Southern Gateway is a striking concept and represents a new departure for the retailer.
L ast year was an unsettled one for Hull-based Sewell Retail. When Total announced that it intended to sell its UK retail and marketing operations in September 2010, the Top 50 Indie was thrown into disarray.
When the Rontec consortium emerged last year as the lead bidder for Total, the question on many people's lips was: "Why is Gerald Ronson still messing around with petrol stations?"
Hello to you all, long time no speak! So there I was, when my phone rang. "It's Merril, Forecourt Trader's 25 years old and I wondered if you would contribute to our anniversary edition?" Twenty five years where has the time gone? Where has my hair gone, for that matter?!
Joseph Richardson had been happily living in the city and working for a big corporate company as a graduate, but the potential expansion of his dad Tim's forecourt business proved enough of a draw to take him back to his Yorkshire roots.